Man infected with coronavirus but did not show symptoms until 27 days later, says Hubei government

People wearing protective face masks walk on a street in Beijing on Feb 21, 2020.
People wearing protective face masks walk on a street in Beijing on Feb 21, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

SHANGHAI (REUTERS) - A 70-year-old man in China's Hubei province was infected with coronavirus but did not show symptoms until 27 days later, the local government said on Saturday (Feb 22), meaning the virus' incubation period could be much longer than the presumed 14 days.

A longer incubation period could complicate efforts to contain spread of the epidemic that has so far killed more than 2,000 people and spread outside China.

The man, identified only by his family name, Jiang, on Jan 24 drove his car to Shennongjia, in north-western Hubei, from eastern Ezhou, where he had close contact with his sister, who had been infected, according to the government website of Hubei, the virus epicentre.

He had a fever on Thursday and tested positive for coronavirus a day later, according to the government statement.